Australia earns Silver Medal, USA Bronze, and France Copper
Eweleiula Wong and Luke Swanson sweep U-18 divisions for Hawaii
Erin Brooks wins Girls U-16 Gold, first Junior medal for Canada
Willis Droomer wins Boys U-16 Gold for Australia
Surf City, El Salvador – June 5th 2022
Nine incredible days of non-stop action in Surf City, El Salvador, featuring a record 419 athletes and 45 national teams, culminated with Hawaii securing themselves an impressive lead to win their first Team Gold since 2014. It is the fourth time Hawaii has claimed this honor.
Team Hawaii, the 2019 Silver Medalists, found their way back to Gold on the back of a highly impressive squad, who claimed four individual medals. Australia followed up with Silver, USA won Bronze, and France collected Copper.
After an emotional loss in Main Round 3, Eweleiula Wong had to fight her way through seven heats of repechage to find herself atop the Girls U-18 podium. The Hawaiian was mostly uncontested in the Final, a huge forehand gouge gaining her a lead that proved impossible for Lucia Machado (ESP, Silver), Hina-Maria Conradi (FRA, Bronze), or defending Silver Medalist Zoe Benedetto (USA, Copper) to catch up with.
“I feel like all my hard work has paid off,” Wong said. “I think it all goes to Team Hawaii coaches, Shane Dorian and Chris Martin.”
It was a much closer affair in the Boys U-18 Final, with two Hawaiians battling it out. Luke Swanson (HAW) finally found the air sections he’d been hoping for all week, taking Gold on the strength of two backhand tail-high air reverses, while fellow Shion Crawford (HAW, Silver) was hot on his heels with exceptional railwork. Luke Thompson (RSA, Bronze) and Kobi Clements (AUS, Copper) were unable to find the form that saw them through the rest of the competition.
“I knew these guys were so good that it would take all my effort and the best of my surfing,” Swanson said. “I just can’t believe I won. It was my goal, I wrote it down, but the fact that I actually achieved that, I don’t know what to say. I guess it’s just a testament to believing in yourself.”